Analysis of the impact of economic change on the construction of new identities in the new EU member states of East-Central Europe
Global processes of economic change are challenging established identities and creating new ones across the globe. Thus, the introduction of a capitalist economy, and socio-economic processes connected to EU accession in particular, have provided fertile ground for the making of numerous kinds of new local and regional identities in the formerly socialist states of East-Central Europe. The workshop will bring together ethnographies focusing on this region and theoretical approaches that explore such processes of identity construction that have taken place both in response to the implementation of external models and as part of strategies harnessing local economic interests to collective identifications. Possible topics could include: the local impact of new transnational economic ties; the reassertion of old local or regional identities with new meanings; identities of new economic elites; increasing class division based on new structures of economic advantages and disadvantages; the question of whether new 'Western' or 'European' identities have been created; the mobilisation of identities as part of an economic strategy; and the immediate impact of the EU's strategies of economic support on the mobilisation of new identities.